Funny and beautiful tequila bottles is a somewhat contested area, when it comes to the noble art of being a true tequila connoiseur.
Tequila has has almost always had a tradition for having eccentric, handmade and beautiful bottles but aficionados do tend to wrinkle their nose. “Can anything as outré as this, really taste good? Is this another gimmick? Is this something like the “worm in the bottle” marketing woodoo? It is probably a lousy tequila!” If opinions on what tastes good, and what is a tasteful design could power our electricity grid, we would never run out of fuel!
I have to confess something here… I think the funny bottles are just that: funny! They are inspiring, creative and a celebration of good design fun. There may be ulterior, dark and sinister marketing motives behind, but still – they are fun and the designs ARE a part of the overall experience of the spirit. Some of the bottles have finally become available in Europe by now!
Here are 6 of my favourite bottles:
Chamucos Tequila which stems back to 1994 has a really beautiful bottle with an emphasis on the tactile experience. Tactile in the sense, that it is very heavy and with an heavily “antique like” – embossed logo. Chamucos means “devil” in spanish and the entire packaging design is made around this theme.
The box of recycled cardboard is a playful and fun experience. The demonic creature can be partly taken out of the box allowing the user to fold out its wings from the perforations. The accompanying text has a somewhat sinister tone “If it get light well shall leavy you”. I do not feel entirely comfortable with that “if…”
Esperanto Tequila Seleccion
Esperanto Tequila Seleccion, with its long and thin neck and circular glass frame with an embedded blue glass agave, is a study in elegance. The over all design is one of simplicity. Basically just circle and a rectangle. The long neck gives associations to the quiote – the long stalk sprouting from the agave when it is flowering.
The doughnut shaped body of the bottle makes the bottle look absolutely beautiful, when the sun shines on it when it is placed on a white table cloth. I have often wondered whether “Esperanto” refers to the artificial language “Esperanto” which was meant to unite us all i a common language. I don’t suppose the original creators of the Esperanto language had tequila in their mind, but well… a lot of us can find common ground over a glass of tequila.
Amor Mio Tequila
Amor Mio Tequila has a bottle which is a composite of two materials. The stopper and the base are made of porcelain and the body of the bottle is bright, transparant glass. It has a fragile look, but actually rests pretty easy in the hand. The patterns of the stopper and the base which have been pressed into the still wet clay, have been painted in bright colours,
This kind of patterns, have historically taken a the route from medieval spain to the monasteries in, what was called, “New Spain”, from where they have spread and synthezised with, what is now, mexican culture. The heart in the logo type, with its embedded agave shape, alludes of course to the name of the brand, Amor Mio, but also to the fact that the heart of the agave is called “corazon” – heart!
Padre Azul Tequila
Padre Azul takes a long and brave step into something which is almost comically theatrical. The metal alloy cranium skull with is sullen somewhat agressive look is a good fit for the “shirt” which covers the bottle itself. The “shirt” is made from a light, puffy silicone/plastic matierial and has a lacing in the back.
The over all look is an absolutely over the top combination of all sorts of connotations, from lingerie in the lacings to Hells Angels in the logo type over colourful satanic walking sticks with skull heads. The logo type is made with metal lettering glued upon the bottles “shirt”. It’s a design which is meant to be remembered! It is however also a design which facinates because of the many tactile impressions. The soft, fabric like “shirt” with the tantalizing lacings, the metal skull and the cold glass are all very different sensory experiences and a fun thing to combine i a single design.
Sangre de Vida Mezcal
This is the mezcal version of Sangre de Vidas product line, the Sangre de Vida Mezcal. The product line also holds three tequilas, but I like the mezcal bottle the most. The beautiful green scull refers to an indian fairytale about the princess Mayahuel. It’s a gruesome and facinating story about the princsess which was hidden away by her grandmother Tzitzímitl. Eventually the Serpent God of the Wind, known as Ehecatl found her, and freed her in shape of a snake. They escaped together, but Tzitzímitl and her demons found them and tore Mayahuel into a thousand pieces. Ehecatl nursed the pieces and out of them, grew agave.
The bottles which are all handpainted with fine patterns also depict a snake. I like the kind of combination of storytelling, imagery and fine sculpture, which goes into the product.
Mucha Liga Tequila
Lucha Libre is a colourful, theatrical and dramatic freestyle wrestling sport enormously popular in Mexico. And ofcourse there is a tequila bottle which found its design inspiration in Lucha Lubre. The Mucha Liga Tequila has taken a defining characteristic of the Lucha Libre, the use of masks. The wrestlers use often masks and make elaborate identities out of them.
It’s a culture much like that of superheroes, who have certain abilities and identieties. In cutural history of Mexico the use of masks has roots back to the Aztec culture, where there have been found numerous archeological masks, probably used in connection with sacrifices. The interpretation in the Mucha Liga Tequila is much more modern. The facetted head upon which the mask is placed, gives connotations to computer games.
The entire packaging is themed with each aging having its own “wrestler name”. The blanco is “Bravo”